Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown on Wednesday September 28 and goes until sundown on Friday September 30. This is the year 5772 on the Jewish calendar, and every year Jewish families gather together to celebrate the occasion with traditional foods. Over the next two weeks I will be sharing with you the recipes for some of the most beloved dishes from my family. This week will be side dish and dessert; next week will be entrée and vegetable.
Mama Betty’s Noodle Kugel (serves 8 as a side dish)
Mama Betty is my paternal grandmother and was the very personification of the notion that food = love, in spite of this not being a sweet kugel. This is one of my absolute favorite foods!
- 12 oz. package of wide egg noodles, cooked al dente
- ¼ lb. (one stick) butter, cut up into tablespoons
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 pt. sour cream
- Salt to taste
- 4 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Mix ¼ lb. butter with hot noodles.
- Add egg yolks, 3 Tbsp. sour cream, and salt.
- Mix well.
- Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks and gently fold into noodle mixture.
- Grease 2 qt. dish and pour in noodle mixture.
- Spread with remaining sour cream.
- Dot with remaining butter.
- Bake for 1 hour at 400°. Kugel should be crispy on top and around edges.
- Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Apple Crumble (serves 6 – 8)
Apples are a traditional food for Rosh Hashanah, particularly when served with honey. The apple reminds us of the fruitfulness of life, and the honey represents sweetness. Together, they represent the hope for a sweet year and a sweet life. This recipe uses brown sugar instead of honey, but the idea is the same.
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour (you can use all whole wheat or all-purpose if desired)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ pound (1 stick) cold butter (may use margarine to make this vegan or parve)
- 6 – 7 (2 – 21/2 pounds total) Golden Delicious apples
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Lightly grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, flours, salt and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. With your fingers, a fork or a pastry blender, blend in butter until it forms large clumps. Set crumble mixture aside.
- Using an apple corer (or a sharp knife if you don’t have a corer), remove apple cores and segment apples into thin slices.
- Put apple segments into a bowl large enough to move them around a bit and toss with remaining teaspoon of cinnamon, and lemon juice.
- Spread apple mixture in baking dish and top with crumble mixture.
- Put baking dish on a cookie sheet to avoid spill over onto oven floor.
- Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until crumble is lightly browned and apples are tender. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Top with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.
The traditional Hebrew greeting for Rosh Hashanah is L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu or “May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year.” In Yiddish, we say Gut Yuntif or “Happy holiday.” Either way, I wish you and your families the happiest of New Years!